Sermon: “Overcoming Evil with Good”
Scripture: Romans 12: 9-21
Speaker: Pastor Mick Whistler
Scripture and questions for study and reflection:
Read Romans 12:9-21.
1. In today’s passage, Paul offers a whole litany of actions that are part of how a Christ-follower is to live. Were any of these surprising to you? How good are you at living like this?
2. Pastor Mick talked about “blind spots to sin” and how they might keep us from living the way God intends us to live. Where do you tend to experience blind spots? How might you overcome them?
3. Paul reminds us that our love must be genuine/sincere. Pastor Mick told a story about skid marks on the sidewalk. Are there areas in your life where your love is less than genuine/sincere (i.e., what are your “skid marks”)?
4. Paul says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” What does this kind of peace look like? Why does he say, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you”?
5. Pastor Mick talked about the importance of responding rather than reacting. What did he mean by that (hint: think Peter with the sword)? When do you have trouble responding rather than reacting? Which way tends to lead to “peace and harmony”?
6. Paul talks about pouring heaping coals on someone’s head. What does he mean by this? Has your understanding of this changed after hearing the sermon? If so, how?
7. How can “burning coals” and “crucibles” be critical components of our own discipleship journey?
8. How is God “Renewing, Refracting and Refining” you these days?
Prayer for the Week:
O God, in mystery and silence you are present in our lives, bringing new life out of destruction, hope out of despair, growth out of difficulty. We thank you that you do not leave us alone, but instead you labor continuously to make us whole, renewing, refracting and refining us as you burn away our impurities and transform us more into the image of Jesus. Help us to be willing participants in our own transformations. Guide us in both our words and our actions, that we might be your good and faithful servants. We love you so much, and we offer this prayer in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.